Open bailout opposition letter to Congress

Stolen from you by U.S.

“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” – Thomas Jefferson

There is a lot of hype in Washington this week, a lot of short-term thinking, but very little honest reflection and philosophically sound governance based on the long term prospects of the American economy.  Jefferson was right: our financial markets have fallen into a cycle of government dependence and therefore no longer discipline themselves.  The American economy has lived beyond its means; to deny this is to declare yourself ignorant and unfit to govern.  We have floated on a cloud of credit, and believed ourselves to be in heaven, and though we have ventured far from earth, the latest liquidity squeeze has allowed us to see just how far we must fall when our economy’s bill comes due.  Though the $700,000,000,000 proposal before you may indeed postpone the payment date, the American people will eventually have to pay dearly for living on money that has been given value–not by production–but by irrational faith, and you can be certain that every postponement will make that future payment more painful than it would be today.  Do not be convinced that there are no free market solutions to this crisis.  The unspeakable ideal of economic freedom will pump more liquid capital into our financial markets than the government ever could, and more importantly, the money generated by such a system would be sound and valuable.  The chronic risks of moral hazard and inflation this bailout poses far outweigh the risks of a brief credit crisis caused by market-liquidated debt.

We cannot become wiser before we admit that we have been foolish in the past.  Market interference was, in most instances, foolish.  The Community Re-Investment Act was foolish.  Taxing capital gains was foolish.  Turning over Congress’ constitutional money-coining responsibility to a private, secretive organization was foolish.  Encouraging irresponsible lending through never-ending taxpayer bailouts was foolish.  Artificially low interest rates were foolish.  Price manipulation was foolish.  Giving up on sound money was foolish.  Losing faith in freedom was foolish.  Ours, however, is not a fated existence.  Nowhere is it written in stone that we must remain foolish, or that we cannot obey Constitutional principles.  If, as Senator John McCain likes to say, you “came to Washington to change Washington,” now is your chance to realize your lofty dreams.  Crisis is the proper time for reform.  Now is the time to embrace real capitalism.  The American people should not be told to fear freedom, as they are being told now, but to embrace it.  The time has come for Americans to be rewarded for their own successes, and held accountable for their own mistakes.  The time has come for the ambitious legislators in Washington to stop fiscally abusing the children of this nation.

1994, 2000: Remembering the words of Goldwater and Reagan, American median voters want smaller government and balanced budgets, so they elect Republicans; in return, they receive the most rampant growth in government (and public debt) this continent has ever known.  2006: the median American voters want out of a conflict that is unrelated to their security or welfare, so they elect Democrats; in return, the war’s funding is not cut off but greatly increased.  2008: the American people want no taxpayer bailouts, they want to end the bubble-blowing policies of the Federal Reserve, and they want to stop the growing cycle of debt that has ruined a once free economy; in return, they are presented with the largest taxpayer bailout ever, a more powerful and secretive central bank, the largest economic bubble-blowing scheme ever contrived, and more debt than they can ever afford to pay off.

The blindfold has been removed from the American people.  They are awakening to a pattern that reveals self-government as a myth.  The extraordinary actions of the federal government are only serving to remove its mask, revealing its nationalist, socialist, imperialist, authoritarian, unresponsive, evil face.  We can accurately predict that, on matters of true importance, when a particular course of action is supported by more than 70% of the American people, their government will pursue the opposite course, pretending the people are a force of no consequence–an attitude to be expected of King Louis’ court, but not of a republic’s elected leaders.  I need not remind you of the French response to that attitude.  The United States government has lost so much legitimacy that it may not survive the latest proposal, should it pass.  The American people are well-aware of the truly criminal nature of any financial bailout; a huge one will both injure and offend them.  Moreover, it will not come without consequence; their lanterns are burning, their pitchforks are raised, and they are prepared to halt the criminal acts of this government, should it become necessary for them to do so.

Want some bad debt? Bailing on America.

Rights wronged

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” – Presidential Oath of Office in its entirety

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face!  It’s just a goddamn piece of paper!” – George W. Bush, (so help us God)

“Go f*** yourselves, America.” – U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson (paraphrased)

“Amen, Mr. Secretary!” -Barney Frank (shockingly not a retard…according to standard definitions), and Christopher Dodd (aka, Oppressive Slimeball)

The unwritten American law: when any financial institution makes any bad loan anywhere, that institution is not accountable for its error: the American taxpayer is.  Actually, for the sake of preserving the market (and when they say “preserving”, they mean “undermining”, the American taxpayer will now prop up any large corporation, assuming it is a complete and total failure.  GM, Ford, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, IndyMac, AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and every other non-competitive corporate loser: do not worry, because the United States no longer believes in capitalism.  Therefore you cannot fail; in fact, as a reward for your magnificently unsuccessful business models, you get free money from the American taxpayer.  The D.C. mafia are perfectly happy to crap all over the average American in order to sustain a politically friendly (albeit criminal) banking system.  What’s the old saying about America’s hospitable nature? Give me your swindling, your greedy, your corporate jet-flying masses?

Guess what, America? Henry Paulson is officially above the law.  $700,000,000,000 is not nearly enough; $2,000,000,000,000 is far from “enough” for the socialist journey upon which your government now embarks.  There will be more to pay, more to print, more to steal from your labor.  This new socialism is insatiable.

America does not have leaders anymore.  It has rulers.  It has owners.  They rule you, they own you, they have spent over a century subverting the supposedly binding agreement between you and them called the U.S. Constitution, and they have the power–through formal taxes and inflation–to take every last real dollar you ever saved, and they will, because their cars aren’t fast enough, their jets aren’t new enough, their diamonds aren’t big enough, and they know you are a bunch of suckers who still think the Presidential election matters.  Wake up and read the Constitution.  You’re getting royally screwed, America, and by a creature many of you still consider friendly: the federal government.  This President, this Congress, these judges and bureaucrats, these candidates–the agents of change–are, for the most part, your masters and your enemies, and if you let them, they will strip you of everything but your soul.

When you ask why or how this could happen–how the freest modern society could fall so far, and become economically depressed and politically oppressed–they will respond as they do now, explaining that they are not accountable, but you are–and sadly, in a way, they will be right.  The further their explanation strays from the truth, the more oppressive they will become, the more dangerous dissent will become to them.  The Constitutionalist will take on the foster name “terrorist”.  The reflective person will be legally termed the dangerous person; the truthful person: an enemy of the state.  As a wise man once said, “truth is treason in the empire of lies.”

Why the surge is a failure

McCain listening to a National Intelligence Estimate

“Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war.  Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making roads, opening rivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much wealthier and happier.  This I hope will be our wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Man will not be brought up with the savage idea of considering his species as his enemy, because the accident of birth gave the individuals existence in countries distinguished by different names.” – Thomas Paine

John McCain likes to let everyone know that he “supported the surge and the surge worked.”  “The surge” refers to increased troop levels in Iraq last year.  Large-scale terrorist attacks in Iraq have decreased since the surge began.  McCain sees this as a great success, and would like voters to see it the same way.  The ploy may work, but if McCain is not out of step with Americans regarding foreign policy goals, he is certainly circumventing logic.

The surge can only be called a success relatively.  There are less Americans dying in Iraq now than there were before the surge, but Americans are still dying in Iraq.  To apply McCain’s logic to a less heated subject: If trees fell through four of McCain’s homes last winter, but with some landscape alterations, only two homes fell victim to timber this winter, McCain will call this winter’s tree-in-home situation a great success.  Relatively, this is true, but anyone with eyes will see idiocy in a man who calls the destruction of his own property a success.  While there is success relatively, we are ultimately still talking about failure.

The Iraq War issue boils down to a couple of questions that the American people must ask themselves.  First, what is the goal of U.S. foreign policy?  If it is national security, then the United States can leave Iraq right away.  We know Iraq was never a threat to U.S. national security, nor was it a sponsor of terrorism against the United States.  Secondly, what is worth the life of an American soldier?  I believe–and I don’t think I’m too presumptuous in saying most Americans would agree–that no American soldier should die in combat unless it is absolutely necessary for the protection of national security.  The knowledge that the Iraq War has nothing to do with our national security, along with my belief that soldiers should not die for reasons unrelated to national security, warrant only one logical conclusion: The death of a single American soldier in Iraq is a tremendous foreign policy failure, outweighing any relative “successes” (i.e., the surge) claimed by Cheney, Bush, McCain, Obama, or anyone else.

To say “the surge worked” with any honesty, our foreign policy goals are necessarily something other than our national security (i.e., nation-building, or resource confiscation).  However, if national security is our foreign policy goal, and one more American soldier dies in Iraq, the surge was a failure.

Common Sense about religion

Paine

I am always troubled by the willingness of Americans to revise history so that it fits into their own worldviews.  To know history, one must first study history.  To comment about a historic figure’s philosophy and intentions, one must first read that figure’s own journals and publications.   To assert truth, one must first make sure that the assertion is true.  There are some falsely self-proclaimed intellectuals who make assumptions about a text rather than read it, and therefore characterize history ineptly.  Perhaps no American revolutionary figure has been exposed to more “intellectual” revisionism than Thomas Paine.  I recently read an example of this on intellectualconservative.com by Thomas Brewton.  Brewton writes:

“While Thomas Paine’s stirring prose helped to rally public opinion in support of the War of Independence in 1776, his later writings were 180 degrees out of synch with the Christian ethos that prevailed in the United States.

It was in those later writings after the War of Independence — The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason – that Paine expressed the sentiments which Mr. Ellis holds forth as the true values of 1776.

Paine’s social and political ideas were essentially the revolutionary and bloody socialism that afflicted the world in the 1789 French Revolution.

His The Age of Reason is an attack upon Christianity and all spiritual religion, a panegyric to the minds of intellectuals as the source of human perfection via the collectivized political state.”

Let me first tackle Brewton’s claim that Age of Reason “is an attack upon Christianity and all spiritual religion.”  I have read it, and it is a very spiritual book itself.  I do not know how Brewton would explain that a spiritual book is actually an attack on all spiritual religion.  I am not certain that I am right, or that Brewton is wrong: Judge for yourself whether or not Age of Reason is “an attack on all spiritual religion” by reading some quotes from it:

“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine.  He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”

“It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.  Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.”

“The Church has set up a system of religion very contradictory to the character of the person whose name it bears.  It has set up a religion of pomp and of revenue, in pretended imitation of a person whose life was humility and poverty.”

“The Word of God is the creation we behold and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.”

“It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.  Take away that reason, and he would be incapable of understanding anything; and, in this case, it would be just as consistent to read even the book called the Bible to a horse as to a man.  How, then, is it that people pretend to reject reason?”

“Do we want to know that God is?  Search not the book called the Scripture, which any human hand might make, but the Scripture called the creation.”

“The God in whom we believe is a God of moral truth, and not a God of mystery or obscurity.  Mystery is the antagonist of truth.  It is a fog of human invention, that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion.  Truth never envelops itself in mystery, and the mystery in which it is at any time enveloped is the work of its antagonist, and never of itself.”

“The only idea we can have of serving God is that of contributing to the happiness of the living creation that God has made.  This cannot be done by retiring ourselves from the society of the world and spending a recluse life in selfish devotion.”

“The creation we behold is the real and ever-existing Word of God, in which we cannot be deceived.  It proclaims His power, it demonstrates His wisdom, it manifests His goodness and beneficence.”

Some of those quotes certainly appeal to my own spiritual side.

Brewton–as one quickly learns from his website–believes himself to be the almighty authority on American perspective in 1776.  You would think, given the credentials he professes to have, he would be more familiar with Common Sense.  Brewton is a strong opponent of socialism, so I find myself in agreement with him on almost everything, but he misjudged Paine’s Common Sense.  To read the true authority on Common Sense, one must read the document itself.  Reading what someone else has written about it, as it appears Brewton may have done, provides no real education.  It is true that Rights of Man contained socialistic ideas that were nowhere to be found in Common Sense.  However, Brewton’s assertion that unlike Common Sense, Paine’s “later writings were 180 degrees out of synch with the Christian ethos that prevailed in the United States” is totally false.  Common Sense is a booklet that was extremely influential at the time of the American Revolution, and it does have a religious theme consistent with Paine’s later works.  In it, Paine bashes the idea that Christians are supreme, he paints Christians as cowards, and he advocates a strict separation of government and religion.  While Brewton’s assertions about Thomas Paine contained no evidence (understandably, as it is difficult to draw quotes from an unread text), I will provide an inexhaustive list of quotes from Common Sense below that clearly show the work’s religious ideas:

“This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe.  Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still.”

“The reformation was preceded by the discovery of America, as if the Almighty graciously meant to open a sanctuary to the persecuted in future years, when home should afford neither friendship nor safety.”

“As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensible duty of all government, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.”

“The Almighty hath implanted in us these unextinguishable feeling for good and wise purposes.  They are the guardians of his image in our hearts.  They distinguish us from the herd of common animals.”

“without anger or resentment I bid you farewell, sincerely wishing, that as men and christians, ye may always fully and uninterruptedly enjoy every civil and religious right; and be, in your turn, the means of securing it to others; but that the example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, may be disavowed and reprobated by every individual inhabitant of America.”

In the last quote, Paine is specifically addressing the Quakers and other dogmatic Christian believers, who believed that the King had a divine right to rule America.  If the professors of the “Christian ethos” had their way in 1776, we would have a different term for Americans: British subjects.